Stop worrying so much about taking perfect pictures!

In my daily scours across the wonderful and mystical land of “Internet”, I came across another great article on PetaPixel by Alan Steadman; “When Perfect Isn’t Perfect or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blur.”

The basis of the article is that you should cut yourself some slack when it comes to your photos, and not worry so much about nailing focus, composing perfectly.  This is something that hits home with me, because I am incredibly hard on myself with regards to focus.  Being a hockey photographer at heart, I am disappointed every single time I shoot because there will always be a shot where the focus just isn’t good enough to warrant keeping the image.  If it’s a little out of focus, I’ll sometimes let it go and rest assured knowing that I captured the moment, which above all else, is what matters.

Below is an image that I love and hate.  Why do I love it?  Because it captured an incredibly intense moment in the game, when the Jets (white) were making a comeback.  The Jets player is crashing the net with all he’s got, and ended up crashing into the defenseman and the goalie, yet twisting around, attempting to shoot behind his back awkwardly to try to score.  The puck is there, the goalie is there, the offense is there, the defense is there (albeit sandwiched), focus is nailed, there’s ice and snow flying in the air… it’s great!  So why do I hate it?  Because I’m too tight on the action!  So tight, in fact, that I cut off the Jets player’s head (not to mention the defender’s as well).  That doesn’t kill the image for me though, but it was awfully close.

I cut off his head!

I cut off his head!

Below is another shot that I was upset with myself for, but for a different reason.  I missed focus.  It happens sometimes.  You accept it and move on.  Easier said than done though.  I very much dislike when I miss focus at ANY time, especially when the shot SHOULD have been a keeper.  This blurry shot of 2013 Florida Panthers draft pick Michael Downing almost didn’t make my finals, but I decided to let it slide because the rest of the image was very pleasing to me.  This is a 100% (1:1) crop shown below from Lightroom 5.  The entire image is previewed in the upper left of this image (just underneath ‘aepoc’).

Blurry Michael Downing.

Blurry Michael Downing.

Anyhow… Please read the original article here.  It will be worth your time; and it will likely even help your photography.


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